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Growing up in Puerto Rico, Karinna Rodriguez was interested in becoming a research scientist and exploring things like the effect of cundeamor extract, a natural treatment for diabetes, on the enzymatic activity of pyruvate dehydrogenase, an enzyme linked to sugar metabolism.
Toward that end, Rodriguez graduated in 2017 from Inter American University of Puerto Rico with a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in chemistry.
But a summer internship with Banco Popular prompted a change in direction to banking. “I’ve always been interested in numbers and finance and communications,” Rodriguez said. “I have a passion for helping the Hispanic-Latino community.”
In the wake of Hurricane Maria, she moved to Arkansas, where she had family, and joined Signature Bank in 2018. Named business development officer this year, Rodriguez helped lead the formation of Banco Sí, Signature’s Hispanic-centric operation in Rogers.
She does volunteer work with the Alzheimer’s Association of Northwest Arkansas and serves as an advisory board member for Entrepreneurship for All, a nonprofit that partners with communities to help underrepresented individuals successfully start and grow a business.